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Post at: Jun 13 2022

Tree City of the World

Recent Context

  • In April 2022, Mumbai and Hyderabad have been jointly recognised as ‘2021 Tree City of the World’ by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN-FAO) and Arbor Day Foundation.
  • The two Indian cities have won the recognition for their “commitment to growing and maintaining urban trees and greenery in building healthy, resilient and happy cities”.
  • While Mumbai has made the list for the first time, Hyderabad has featured on it for the second consecutive year.

What are the Tree Cities of the World?

  • The ‘Tree Cities of the World’ is a programme started by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation and American non-profit organisation Arbor Day Foundation.
  • It is an international effort “to recognise cities and towns committed to ensuring that their urban forests and trees are properly maintained, sustainably managed, and duly celebrated”.
  • The programme provides direction, assistance, and worldwide recognition for a community’s dedication to its urban forest.
  • The programme provides a framework for a healthy, sustainable urban forestry programme in a town or city.

How can a city be recognised as a Tree City?

  • A city is recognised as a ‘Tree City’ if it meets five core standards to show its commitment towards caring for its trees and forests.
  • To be recognised as a Tree City, a city must have a written statement delegating responsibility for the care of trees within the municipal boundary to a staff member, a city department, or a group of citizens – called a Tree Board.
  • The city should have in place a law or an official policy to govern the management of forests and trees.
  • The third core standard is to have an updated inventory or assessment of the local tree resource so that an effective long-term plan for planting, care, and removal of city trees can be established.
  • The city should have a dedicated annual budget for the implementation of the tree management plan.
  • To be recognised as a Tree City, it should organise an annual celebration of trees to raise awareness among people and to acknowledge citizens who carried out the tree programme.

Why have Hyderabad and Mumbai been recognised as Tree Cities?

  • A total of 138 cities from 21 countries have been recognised for the year 2021 under the programme. 
  • While Hyderabad planted more than 3.5 crore trees in 500 volunteer hours, Mumbai planted 42,5000 trees in 25,000 volunteer hours.
  • The 138 cities planted 38,787,795 in 486,015 volunteer hours. 
  • The countries with maximum tree cities include the US, UK, and Canada, with 37, 19, and 18 cities respectively.

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